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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From 1st June 2011 there will no longer be an official TiVo service for Series 1 units in the UK
This thread will remain here for reference only!

Hello and welcome to all new forum members!

Please take the time to read the information contained in this thread before posting on the forum. Many questions are asked repeatedly and answers for most of these are below! :) If you're thinking of buying a TiVo read my article at the end of this thread to see what you can expect.

If you think you have a problem - as well as posting to the forum please also let customer services know so they can properly record your fault:

0844 241 0703

This is the same number for all your TiVo CS queries.

General Information:

The latest software release is version 2.5.5 which all subscribers will receive automatically a few days after purchase - see TiVo's site here for details and updated user manuals.

Those of you lurking reading away but not posting (we know you're out there!) post away! We're all a friendly bunch and would love to hear from you.

Look out for posts from TiVoPony, TiVo_Ted (no longer works for TiVo), and TiVoRich (Engineering Project Manager and Technical Lead Engineer for the UK software)!

Answers to some common questions asked by new owners:

Can I use a TiVo designed for use in the USA in the UK (eg Series2 TiVo)
This is asked many many times, and the short answer is NO. They use a different TV system (NTSC), different power supply, and it is NOT possible to subscribe to the TiVo service to get guide data.

Where can I get a new UK TiVo box from?
EBay is really the best place at the moment.

I just read TiVo is going to pull out of the UK - is this true?
TiVo are not pulling out of the UK. Read the real truth here.

How do I get TiVo to record from Sky radio channels?
See http://www.tivoportal.co.uk/skyradio.htm

I'm having problems getting TiVo to control my STB
Start here. This page lists what IR codes you should be using, and what boxes are supported.

When will I get the V2.5.5 software update?
Brand new TiVo's are shipped with V1.5 - which contain some bugs, and does not have the full functionality of V2.5.5. All TiVo subscribers should be updated to V2.5.5 within a few days automatically. To speed this up keep forcing a daily call in the phone settings until you get it. When the status shows "Pending Restart" TiVo will reboot at 2am and update your box. You can just reboot it yourself if you can't wait!

How can I copy recordings from TiVo to other devices?
If you would like to copy any recordings from the 'now playing' list on your TiVo to a VCR, DVD or a PC - you can connect up your TiVo to any recording device by using either the RF output or VCR/TV SCART output sockets. If you are copying to a PC - then you'll need a video/audio (TV) capture card within the PC which will accept either the SCART or RF output from your TiVo. You can then use the 'Save to VCR' option described on page 19 of your user manual.

Does TiVo support digital cable yet?
Yes. An adaptor is available for £30 from customer services for Pace 1000 and 2000 boxes. Pace 4000 owners can now use code 20020 under "Pace" and do not require the adaptor (or 20009 failing that but avoid radio channels with this code). Threads to read on this are: Pace 1000 , Pace 2000 , Pace 4000 (Original NTL areas), Pace 4000 (Ex C&W / Telewest areas). UPDATE OCT 2002: Some Ex C&W / Telewest (not original NTL) users are reporting problems once their STB has been updated to software version CR3. This is being investigated.

I'm having problems with the remote?
The batteries that TiVo ships with are very poor. Put some new ones in if your remote has stopped working. If you are getting double key presses and new batteries didn't help the remote is probably dirty - you'll need to carefully take it to bits and clean any grime away (or purchase a new remote from customer services). To reset the remote hold down the TIVO and PAUSE keys together until the LED lights, then release all buttons and press the ZERO key.

Can I upgrade my TiVo and how do I tell how many discs I have?
A few tools are available to help you. Start by reading Hinsdales guide and the Hack FAQ . Ways to tell if you have two drives can be found in the UK FAQ here . If you need help with your upgrade or want to get a TiVo backup image on CD contact either Rob Bellis: [email protected], or Trevor Heartfield (TiVoMad): [email protected]. Note that two-disc users with V2.5.5 should read this thread before attempting to use mfstools (background to problems encountered in V2.5.5 is in these threads: here and here ).
To help you decide what size hard disc to use, see MrTickle's graph of hard disc size versus TiVo capacity here.
Please note that links to sites carrying backup images of TiVo software are not allowed.

I have sound warbling, stuttering, brightness pulsing, NICAM problems.
A: See tivobugs - a lot of this is fixed in release 1.5.2 or later which you should receive within a few days of subscribing to the TiVo service. A hardware fix will be made available to everyone affected shortly. Check the box TiVo service number before buying - it is of the form 023-0000-XXXX-yyyy. If the XXXX number is 6022 or higher your box should already have the hardware mod. Some 6021 boxes also have it. Customer services will be able to advise you further.

Why can't I get my TiVo remote to control my TV or Stereo?
There are actually more codes for most manufacturers than shown on screen. As a start try adding 1000 to the codes listed on screen, and look here for more codes and information.

I seem to be running out of guide data for the terrestrial channels
The five main terrestrial channels are updated during Saturday/Sunday for the next week, so you would normally have 5-14 days worth of data. Satellite / cable channels often have guide data much further into the future.

Why are there two IR emitters?
Usually you'd only use one of these. Keep the other hidden away where it won't affect control of the STB by the other (or apply black tape over it). Its possible to have a dual STB setup where you have Sky Digital via SCART and another source such as ITV Digital via RF. In this case each IR emitter controls one of the STB's.

Can I use TiVo abroad?
You should be able to use TiVo abroad in any countries with a PAL TV system and a 220V-240V 50Hz electricity supply. There are quite a few overseas users active on this forum. TiVo's guide data is only for the UK, most people have Sky Digital - see here for information on how to get Sky Digital overseas. You'll need to set TiVo's dial prefix to either (a) the international dialling code to dial the uk, or (b) the number of a local UUNET POP number followed by two commas (preferred as this is a local call instead of international!). You'll also probably need a UK address to register for TiVo's subscription. For further details or to ask questions see this thread.

What does the "First Run" option mean - repeats are still being recorded?
Firstly this option depends a lot on good guide data. Secondly this option doesn't stop you recording repeats. It is intended for use where a channel is airing two series simultaneously - a new one and an old one. A good example is Stargate SG1 on Sky1. Here there is often a new series being run once a week, and an old series being run concurrently at other times. Selecting First Run Only in this case should just record episodes in the new series. As a general rule leave this option on "First Run and Repeats" unless there is a good reason to change it. Repeats are stopped by the 28-day rule which is an automatic process, but also reliant on good guide data. If you have already recorded an episode of a programme with the last 28 days then TiVo will not record it again (unless specifically asked to). So for example, if you have a Season Pass for Enterprise on Sky1, and you recorded the Monday episode, then TiVo will no re-record it on the Sunday when it is repeated. If it wasn't recorded on Monday (say because another programme with higher priority was recorded) then it will get the repeat on Sunday instead. The technical info on how First Run works is: a "First Run programme" is ANY program that is airing within 28 days of the program's "Original Air Date" field and has not been previously recorded. The "Original Air Date" field can be viewed by pressing the ENTER key when viewing the programme's details.

What are backdoors and how do I enable them?
The backcode is "B D 2 5" - leave out the quotes, note the space between each character. For more information on backdoors and how to use the backdoor code see the comprehensive thread on this in the US forum here.

I can not record from TiVo's internal tuner
If you have the same channels on a STB then you can't record from the terrestrial (internal tuner) versions. TiVo always uses the best quality source available for a particular channel (usually the one via the AUX SCART). To record from a particular source remove the channel on the other source from Channels You Receive.

TiVo is not sending any IR signals out to my STB
If TiVo detects any IR signals being transmitted it will not send out its IR signals until they have stopped. Check for remote controls being sat on etc! Also if you have a remote sender to transmit between rooms they sometimes send out background IR that may affect TiVo. Some lights also cause problems!

TV problems when TiVo is on
Some users are reporting problems with their TV's after the upgrade to V2.5.5 (mainly Philips but some Sony, Toshiba and other stes) - these include the TV switching itself off and inability to change the volume (or other odd remote control issues when trying to use the TV). Ring up customer services and request the V2.5.5a update which will remove the Teletext subtitle recording feature which these sets do not like.

Where are my TiVo Suggestions?
TiVo have confirmed that due to changes in their data format, the 'Suggestions' no longer work on UK Series 1 machines.

Some things new owners don't realise about TiVo:

  • TiVo suggestions when recorded automatically will always be removed first if your TiVo runs out of space. Don't worry about them taking up space - just let it happen! If you want to save some use the "Save until" option to save longer.
  • If two channels have the same name (eg say Channel 4 on Sky Digital and terrestrial) then TiVo always records using the lowest numbered channel even if you tell it to use the higher numbered channel. To record the higher number you have to remove the lower numbered one from "Channels you watch" in setup. UPDATE: In V2.5.5 TiVo records from the highest quality source (the one connected via the AUX SCART).
  • TiVo has some undocumented shortcuts - try pressing the "TiVo" button then a numeric digit - eg "TiVo", "2" goes to the "ToDo" list.

Useful Sites:

A portal of all things TiVo in the UK.

This is the UK TiVo FAQ and may answer a number of your early questions.

Two UK TiVo newsletters: One for announcements of major UK TiVo news, and the other a periodic newsletter.

This site is a list of suggestions TiVo users have submitted. These are suggestions for features in a future software release. Everyone should join up, vote on the suggestions, and suggest away! The site was set up at TiVo's request and they will be watching closely to see what you want - have your say!

Think you've got a problem? Check out the known bugs at this unofficial site. Also has a problem solving wizard.

TiVo's official UK site.

A good guide to increasing the storage capacity of your TiVo (not for newbies!)

468 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Special Threads:

Some special threads exists for reporting problems. Whilst this is not an official way to report problems (you should phone TiVo customer services) this allows others to see what the current problems are, and to keep them all together. TiVo also occasionally monitor some of these threads.

SPECIAL THREAD: Programme/Listing Errors : This thread should be used to list any errors you find with programmes listed in TiVo's listings. An example is "My TiVo says Coronation Street is on at 19:00 but its on at 19:30". Read the first post in the thread for more details.

SPECIAL THREAD: Channel line-up errors : If your channel line up is incorrect or you have problems with season passes please post details in this thread. An example is "Channel 121 Sky News is missing from TiVo". Always state your postcode and provider (eg Sky Digital, NTL etc).

Sky+ Discussion : This is a TiVo forum. Please keep all Sky+ discussions to this thread only.

Upcoming New Series : Details of brand new series and popular programmes making a new return. This is available for contribution. Viewing and subscription in the UK Chit Chat forum.

Thread Contents:

Links to threads discussing common topics - for non-archived threads, please post in these threads rather than starting a new one to keep all the info in one place.

Pace 1000 Digital Cable problems
Pace 2000 Digital Cable problems
Pace 4000 Digital Cable problems (Original NTL areas)
Pace 4000 Digital Cable problems (Ex Cable & Wireless / Telewest areas)
Nokia ITV Digital problems
Cordless Telephone connections
Converting TiVo's output to S-Video
One-for-all remotes and TiVo
Convince me to buy a TiVo instead of Sky+
TiVo Memory (RAM) Upgrade
Problems with Philips TV's (and other brands)
Limitations of hard padding, and how to simulate soft padding in V2.5.5
Using TiVo Overseas
Finding out how much recording space is left
A list of TiVoWeb modules
New Channel Logos

468 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whats new in V2.5.5?

TiVo have now released a new software release - V2.5.5. This adds lots of new functionality which is described below,

For official information and updated versions of the user manual, see TiVo's website here.

If you don't have V2.5.5 yet see the FAQ above.

Search Using WishLists - lets you search for programmes by your favourite actor/actress or director, programme title, or even by keyword. You can even automatically record programmes based on WishList criteria.

Overtime Scheduler - To capture sports events which go into extra time, or allow for any last-minute changes to the TV schedule, TiVo can be set to record up to ten minutes before the scheduled start time and up to three hours after the scheduled end of the programme.

Season Pass Manager - The Season Pass allows you to record every episode of your favourite series. Potential clashes between programmes booked as Season Passes will be avoided by the Season Pass Manager which allows you to set or change your recording priorities.

Parental Controls - gives parents a tool to help manage their children's viewing by providing a password function to lock out specific channels or film ratings.

View Recording History - This feature helps you understand why a programme won't be recorded in the future, or why a scheduled recording didn't go ahead. You can also find out why a programme was deleted - either automatically by TiVo or by you!

View Upcoming Episodes - Any time you highlight the title of an unrecorded programme, you can display a list of upcoming episodes on all channels and determine which of these will be recorded.

More Control when recording from Live TV - press RECORD partway through a programme, and you will be able to capture the stored portion in TiVo's buffer as part of the recording. This stitches either the whole of the buffer or up to the scheduled start of the programme onto the beginning of the recording.

Customising the TiVo Live Guide - The TiVo Live Guide now has options that let you change quickly the programmes and channels the guide displays, or skip ahead to another date or time.

Channel Banner Short Cuts - allow you to short cut to recording options, Parental control and TiVo Messages.

Enhanced Save to VCR - Improved on-screen instructions for archiving programmes to video tape.

Save Disk Space - The TiVo Service can now save disk space for higher quality recordings. When selected TiVo makes variable bit-rate recordings.

Improved Guided Setup - Guided Setup now only takes about 35 minutes. After Guided Setup, you can start controlling live TV by pausing, rewinding, and instant replaying. TiVo will organise programme information in the background. When this process is finished, you can set up your Season Passes and search for programmes.

Improved platform support - Guided Setup contains new choices for two digital or two analogue TV programming sources (i.e., both digital cable and digital satellite, or both aerial and analogue cable)

TiVo! TiVo! - Press the TiVo button twice to quickly get to your Now Playing list.

Clear to delete - Press the clear button on many of TiVo's list to quickly delete items. Can be used on the Now Showing list, Season Pass Manager, Wishlists, and TiVo Messages.

Record to stop - Press the RECORD key during a recording to stop it (you will be asked to confirm the action).

Skip to tick - Press the advance to end button ->| whilst in FF or RW modes to skip to the next mark on the timebar.

Keep at most - Set this option on Season Passes and Wishlists to restrict how many episodes of a programme TiVo records. For example, set a season pass for the ITN News with keep at most set to 1 and you'll always have the latest news ready for you to watch.

Subtitles - TiVo will automatically record any teletext subtitles being aired on page 888. When watching a recording simply switch to text on your TV and go to page 888.

System Reset - Now there are even more ways to destroy your TiVo! (Well your personal data anyway!).

More programme Info - Whilst viewing a programmes info press the ENTER key to see even more info (and the full description if it was truncated due to its length).

Record only new series - TiVo's First Run option will record only new series. Repeats of old series will be ignored.

28 Day rule - If you have already recorded an episode of a programme or film within the last 28 days, TiVo will not record it again unless specifically asked to.

Channel Logos - Channels may have logos now. You'll see these in your Now Playing list and the Live TV channel banner.

Film Ratings - Film now show a rating in the description - a number of stars indicates how good the film is.

Sending of the Sky key - Sky users can now configure TiVo to send the Sky key before each channel change to turn the box on. Select IR codes GRUNDIG-20016.

468 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is TiVo and what are its benefits?

In today's digital era, there are literally hundreds of channels available to the consumer. Even the more basic subscription packages present the viewer with a dazzling array of channels to choose between - and pay for. But despite paying extra for those channels - how many viewers still ignore the vast majority of those extra channels? How many viewers take the time to scour programme guides to see what is being shown on all of the hundreds of channels available every day? Even with only the five basic terrestrial channels it is a time consuming affair to check the full twenty-four hours listed in the programme guides each day.

How many times have you missed your favourite programmes because you haven't managed to get home in time and forgot to set the video to record them? How many times has the phone rung half way through watching your favourite programme?

How would you like to throw out your programme guide and have just one channel that shows all of your favourite programmes? You can watch them whenever you want - not when they are broadcast. Not only that but you would find available all of the interesting programmes from those hundreds of channels that you never realised were on. Sounds too good to be true? The solution has been available for over a year and you probably didn't even realise!

TiVo is a revolution in television viewing. It puts you the viewer in control of what you watch, and when you watch it. It manages TV for you so that you never miss your favourite programme.

So how does TiVo work? It replaces your video and stores recorded programmes on a computer hard disc. This means no video tapes - and fast high quality access to all of your programmes. Each day a free quick phone call to TiVo HQ by the box downloads the latest programme guide data giving you listings up to 21 days in advance. All sounds complicated? Well forget that - TiVo provides a unique user friendly way to allow you to completely manage your viewing experience. Even those of you who found VideoPlus numbers difficult will now be able to record programmes with ease.

At the heart of TiVo's radical new management of TV is the Season Pass. Instead of having to set your video to record programmes each day, you simply tell TiVo which programmes you always like to watch. Tell it you like to watch "Friends" on Channel 4, and whenever that programme is broadcast TiVo will record it. Even if the time for the programme changes from one week to the next - TiVo will realise and still record the programme. Next time you are late home from work or shopping, TiVo will have recorded your favourite programmes for you without you having to lift a finger!

Finding programmes to record is easy, TiVo provides many different ways to find programmes, and displays both the name and description of the episode, For films a BBFC rating is shown (U, PG, 15 etc) as well as a number of stars to indicate how good it is:

Live Guide: A transparent guide that overlays whatever is currently on TV. It lists what programmes are currently on each channel.

Browse by time: Shows what's on all available channels, or all of your favourite channels at any given time.

Browse by channel: Shows what's on a particular channel at a given time.

Search by title: Enter the title of a programme to quickly find it without having to specify a channel or time.

Search by genre: Search for programmes of a particular genre, eg all Science fiction programmes, all documentaries about animals etc.

Inside TiVo / Channel Highlights: Special guides exclusive to TiVo that list the best programmes on for the coming week.

Your recorded programmes are ready to watch at any time. You can even start watching a programme whilst it is still recording! The Now Playing list shows each of the programmes available to watch.

Recording of your favourite programmes couldn't be easier! But what about those hundreds of channels that you have no idea what's on?! TiVo learns about your viewing habits - it analyses what you ask it to record, and makes suggestions as to other programmes you may like. You can rate programmes by giving them "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" by pressing the thumb buttons on the remote. Give "Coronation Street" a thumb up, and TiVo might suggest that you may like to watch "Eastenders" as well.

TiVo can automatically record its suggestions so that you always have even more choice than the programmes you recorded yourself. It's great to find interesting programmes waiting for you that you didn't even realise were on TV. TiVo scans all available channels and chooses programmes that you like. Don't worry though - it will always remove these automated recordings first if you begin to run out of space! TiVo has very sophisticated but extremely simple space management - either delete programmes, wait for them to expire (become old), or flag them to save forever.

TiVo frees you from sticking to the broadcasters schedules. After using TiVo for a while you start to watch what you have recorded - not what's on. Viewing becomes a pleasure not a chore. Some programmes still just have to be watched live though - like watching your favourite football team! As you watch a live programme, TiVo is also recording it - automatically saving up to the last thirty minutes of whatever you are watching. If the phone rings, simply press the pause key and the live programme is paused! When finished simply press play and continue watching where you left off! If you turn your head and miss a goal, simply press the instant replay button to jump back a few seconds and see what you missed.

TiVo can work with and control a number of set top boxes. It can emulate your remote control and send out commands to change channels automatically to make its recordings. It can control Sky, ITV Digital, and cable (both analogue and digital), as well as having a built in analogue terrestrial tuner.

Sounds impressive? Its also future proof - like most set top boxes, TiVo's software can be updated with new features. This process happens automatically - when new software is available TiVo will download and install it for you. In early 2002 a new major update arrived on TiVo boxes - this further enhanced TiVo's ability to manage TV. Some of the amazing new features now available are:

  • Season Pass Manager - rank your programmes in order of their importance. If two are on at the same time TiVo will automatically pick the higher priority programme, and try to record the other if it is repeated on another day.
  • Wishlists - perform searches using keywords, programme genre, actors, and directors to find programmes that you like, and optionally automatically record them.
  • Overtime padding - set your recordings to start earlier or finish later than scheduled so you don't miss them when the broadcasters don't stick to their scheduled start/stop times.
  • Save the buffer - TiVo is always recording the last 30 minutes when you watch live TV. If you watch something and wished you had recorded it for someone else to see - simply press record and TiVo will save its buffer up to the start of the programme.
  • Parental controls - Allows you to lock certain channels or programmes of a specified rating so that your kids can't watch them without a code. Applies to both live programmes and ones you have recorded.

TiVo truly does revolutionise television viewing. It has an extremely loyal user base - once you start using TiVo you will never go back to normal TV. It's extremely easy to use even for those that find VCR's difficult. Amazingly the more technical savvy people who buy TiVo are astonished to find that their non-technical partners take over TiVo and love it more than they do!

TiVo will cost you £300 (RRP) for a 40 hour Thomson Scenium TiVo, and a further £10 per month (or £199 lifetime) to subscribe to the TiVo service which activates most of the features outline above, provides guide data, and software updates.

For more details visit TiVo's website at http://uk.tivo.com and join the TiVolution!

Written by Gary Sargent (http://www.tivoportal.co.uk). Feel free to publish this article and images providing credit is given.

Premium Member
2,427 Posts
As most people are aware, TiVo Series 1 will be no longer be supported or have data provided by TiVo as of 1st June 2011.

This thread will be left here for historical interest only.
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